You have been an influential DJ in the international scene for years now. Starting in 2000 and still going strong in 2012 with the release of your new album. What made you decide one day to want to make it in the electronic music scene and has it been a rather smooth ride or were there any hurdles you had to take on?
I was into electronic music from the first moment I heard a synth. As time passed by, I was fascinated by trying understand how these sounds were made. I was learning many instruments whilst young but decided early on that my main passion was in electronic music way before I had chance to learn all about it. It has a combination of so many attributes all in one genre, energy, groove, emotion, production, tension, release, etc.
How do you look back on your classics like Air For Life, Halcyon and Daydream? In the process of making these tracks, did you ever think these would conquer the world like they did?
No, in no way did I think that at all. I have never looked at my own work in the way that others must look at it. I just enjoy making the music and hope that others enjoy it too. Some of the tracks didn’t fit in with the trends at the time, which fascinates me when thinking how popular they became.
With today’s technology, it is possible to make music anywhere, any place. Your music is very visual in a sense. Do you still prefer strictly working in a classic recording studio set-up, or do you find the idea enticing to lay on a white sand beach in Fiji while you let the inspiration rain on you as you go with your production laptop at hand?
I would love the latter, but at the moment I make music in the studio environment only. I am easily distracted, so a white sandy beach in Fiji probably wouldn’t be the most productive environment for me.
Are you inspired by new emerging music styles like Dubstep? Some people actually make radical career changes as in the type of music they produce. Examples would be Tiesto who went from Trance to Electro and Progressive House and DJ Fei-Fei who went from trance to bass music. Do you see yourself ever taking a way different approach to the music you are producing and performing?
Not at the moment, but it is not something I would rule out. I get really inspired when I hear new sounds and styles and I admit I do enjoy dubstep a lot–the production qualities are fantastic and it is a very creative genre too. I was into hardcore for a short period when I was young, so if I were young now I would probably be into dubstep, especially considering its reach at the moment. As long as I can make music that I enjoy without too many boundaries, and am able to inject my own sound onto a genre, then I am happy.
Can you explain the stories behind some of the vocal songs on your new album?
I worked with a lot of vocalists, and the majority of the vocals were written by the vocalists. I structured this in a way to fit into a cohesive album, and enjoyed the challenge of getting so many female vocalists to fit onto one album.
There are great piano arrangements on your new album. Are you classically trained or do you work together with other musicians on some of the songs?
I am classically trained and was lucky enough to learn a variety of instruments from a young age. The technology came later.
Are there any artists you would love to collaborate with and why?
There are so many, a lot of unknowns too. I would like to collaborate with artists that are very different than myself, from totally different genres. It would be of great interest to see what we could come up with and learn from their way of thinking.
Trends, popularity and hits move very fast in the EDM scene. Faster than ever before. Whereas a record in the older days had a shelf life of at least 3 months; nowadays it is limited to just a few weeks with all the competition going around. What would you say is the secret behind your lasting success?
I always try to make music with longevity and meaning. I don’t always intend for this to be exposed in my music, sometimes it just happens too, but for me a track should connect with you in many ways. Production, emotion, subtle melodies that gain traction with every listen, etc. Music should not be disposable.
You have a dedicated fan base who have supported you for a long time. How do you try to give them the love back other than making beautiful music?
I’m on tour a lot of the time and like to meet fans as much as possible, and when they realise I am just a normal human being like them I think they appreciate this. I am always on hand to give people advise, answer questions and just offer support in their own goals. It gives them inspiration and desire to then become the best they can be, and also gives me a sense of achievement outside of music.
To which forthcoming gig are you looking forward to most?
I look forward to them all. Each is a new enjoyable challenge. I thrive on trying to do the best I can, so I look forward one gig at a time and that is where my focus is.
Thanks again Andy for taking the time for this interview and we wish you lots of success with your new album!
Thanks for having me.